Sunday, June 26, 2011

a mighty heart

a swansong appearance

For the past 1 week, I have been sick; the usual running nose, sore throat & cough – and seriously, being unwell is certainly no fun. It slows down a person’s thoughts, processes and movements. Presently, I’m recovering…nonetheless, whenever I fell sick…automatically I’ll be in a reflective mode and start to remind myself what life is all about. I have always believe…that me falling sick…is not because of the sick season where all of the bacterias & germs & viruses are spreading all around so freely…but also due to the work stress & anxiety :) Yes, I know that I need to take better care of myself…not only for myself, but also for my family.

I know that life is far beyond what we do to make a living. I am better at balancing my life right now compare to when I first started out…maybe this is because as my age is catching up…I have become a little wiser :) Having a strong work passion is good…everyone need to have a passion for something. We need to consistently pursue it, explore it, develop it and improve it at all times. But we also need to prioritize it – and for the past 1 year, I have learn to put this crazy passion of mine aside for a moment and use the time for something else that is more important. I don’t define success. I’m grateful that I have done a few things that are deemed successful and have made some contributions for the betterment one way or the other. But it boils down to just being in the right place at the right time with the right people. Surely; GOD’s blessings, determination and commitment play a big role too.

Sometimes, I wonder - why do we let life get in the way of living? Life catches up with you, you know. Yet, we rarely have the spare time. And the weird thing is why do we keep that much coveted outfit/scented candle/pair of shoes/piece of crockery/the special jewelry etc only for special occasions? We should take it out, wear it out...why wait? As crappy as my day may be and as grumpy as I might get, every day is a special day nowadays. I never truly appreciated the phrase ‘Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last’ until now.

I'm just thankful to be here full stop :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

pretty girls in the city

i've got a brand new toy :) an orange Canon IXUS 115

Thursday, June 23, 2011

sustained with faith & prayers

I certainly don’t like to be at the top. I also personally don’t want to be at the top. It’s cold up there. At the top, you have fewer friends, but many foes. The working place is very different from the classroom. In the classroom, everyone is equal because we are at the same age and of the same thinking capability. But in the working world, we have to deal with many people from all walks of life…differences in age & maturity, different working experiences, diverse background, varried attitudes, behaviors & personalities etc.

I have always said that I am an underdog in my life, regardless in whatever capacity that I am in :) I am also a very late bloomer :) And I will always forever be more comfortable with critics than with compliments. I will be more comfortable with failures than with successes. Even Iron Butterfly notices that too…I don’t know how to receive & acknowledge compliments. Can you believe it…I’m actually okay with losing :)

I don’t know…maybe I lack the Killer Instinct or the Must Win gene in me…and I flee from any form of competition or ranking. In school, I’ve never felt any desire to be at the top in the class or being the Number 1 in anything, be it in academics or in sports…and am truly happy if I’m somewhere in the upper half of any ranking. In my current working life…I’ve been fairly ambitious & motivated, but competitive; I don’t think so. Competition both bores me and makes me queasy…(but at times, it also excites me and brings out the best in me as well)…I get nervous & pressured…and for me life is too short to subject myself to such negative feelings. I don’t hanker for the adrenalin rush of being in a contest and I don’t bask in being in the centre of attention. Besides, I think it’s embarrassing to so be openly want to beat another person at something. It’s sort of pathetic really. I just don’t like being pitted against another person in an upfront way.

It’s not even that I’m afraid of losing; I wish it were that though…because if I were afraid of losing…it means that I want to win…and if I were hung up about winning, I’d be a more assertive sort of person…which I think I should be. Shouldn’t one be always striving to hit new heights? Maybe my ego is tiny and I feel that I can’t match up to others so I don’t try…or maybe my ego is so big and I don’t desire to pit myself against the others. Or it could just be that I’m lazy…comedian Drew Carey once said that some people don’t like competition because it makes them work harder & better :) Besides if I do win, I’ll probably feel bad for my opponent and worry that he or she won’t like me anymore…or worry that I’d be hit by hubris. I don’t try to excel at something because I want to outdo and outshone another person. It matters too much to me to keep the workplace atmosphere around me pleasant & nice.

This new title - certainly comes with a lot of unnecessary stress and expectations.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Rise

GOD is in my career journey – Trainee Division Manager.

Thank you GOD, Praise to the Lord, Bless you GOD :)

Back in April this year, I told Juan Carlos to postpone my promotion until next year. I want Juan Carlos to evaluate how I have been performing in the whole of 2011, judge me on the results that I have generated and on my leadership skills & strategic business thinking capability. The remaining months in 2011 will be my probation period where Juan Carlos will observe and review me first hand. Anything else, we will talk again in 2012. I refuse the promotion in the first place is because…firstly, I am not ready and secondly…I want my peers to feel that I deserve this promotion is because I deserve it based on my own hard work, based on merit & my business acumen…and not for other reasons. Then, on last Thursday, Juan Carlos gave me a surprise…Juan Carlos gave me an Offer Letter; stating that I am now officially is a Trainee Division Manager. It was a shocker to me…and also to the rest of my peers. Some were genuinely happy for me…some I can feel their jealousy…some feel that I don’t deserve it…it’s not always easy to find colleagues with little politics…well; this low-profile underdog have suddenly rise from nowhere :) Seriously, I really keep a low-profile at work…only letting my actions, attitudes & behavior do the talking. I always believe that being humble and proving one's own ability is the key. Then everything else will follows. Nonetheless, looking back at my past job performance record from January till May…I truly think that I deserve to get the promotion :) as the results speak for itself. However, this month is another tough month and the sales graph has also shown a drop.

Because the Offer Letter has already been issued out…I have to take it. I’m damned if I do…and I’m damned if I don’t :) I didn't expect Juan Carlos to be this creative. And I can’t even begin on how grateful I am to be blessed with such wonderful, hard working, committed, selfless team of suppliers & store people who have helped me so much along the way. Their continue support for me is much treasured. They have taught me so much since my time in D33.

Moving forward…there are many obstacles to come…the biggest hurdles that I will have to tackle and execute correctly is the Furniture Fair from 1st July – 14th July…the Dreamland Mattress Fair…the new furniture collection sales results…2011 contract negotiation…Hari Raya…and the major Concept Display. Since I took over this position from Patrick in October 2010, the whole 'rollercoaster' effect of living this life hasn't stopped at all. The list of to-do's on my working task list seems to be constantly expanding, and every time I tick 'complete' on one task, another three seem to be miraculously appear at the bottom.

And here I am today…I look back on my career journey and wonder how I landed where I am now. I am unabashedly spiritual these days, and it is partially because of GOD's clear presence in guiding my career choices so far. I won't ever forget that day, five years back, in May 2007…when M13 was bought over by the English…I have no job in hand, I didn’t even have a good & reliable car where I can travel down to Mutiara Damansara (at that time, i was only driving a very old Subaru van that cannot takes me very far), my pay was only at RM2000…not even enough for me to pay for the additional petrol & toll expenses…I think I did said a prayer asking GOD to help me to get a new job with a very good pay and GOD answered me by having Haakon brought me over to SAM25. The job there sucks where I feel that I am not learning anything which will cause my career to stall…but this was the place where I manage to earn & save enough money to buy my first car. For that, I am always grateful to Haakon & Fredrik. As I got sick of the job (quite frankly it was a very disastrous experience)…I asked GOD to give me new job offers…oh boy, GOD really took his sweet time…I waited for 8 months before I got a serious job interview with the English, but I guess GOD have other plans for me as I rejected Atticus’s offer and I found a job nearer to home in a SME company in 2008. There…the job kept me busy…but after a while…I felt quite unchallenged, the job gets a bit monotonous…there appears to be a certain predictable formula to managing retail merchandizing in a small entity. All of a sudden, I found myself working with the French. A job with real challenges, with actual meaning, a chance to really learn the nitty & gritty part of the business, to network and to develop myself personally. I don’t think I prayed for this…GOD just somehow gifted it to me. But this job with the French has given me many demanding challenges which (thank you GOD) that I manage to overcome. It brought me laughter & tears. In the middle of last year, I wanted to quit so badly. I prayed to GOD and he gave me 6 new job offers. Again, I rejected Atticus & Co, because Snow Petrol have promoted me as a Senior Category Manager. And lo-and-behold, I landed myself HERE. Hah. Nonetheless, I am still remain clueless and unclear whether I will be here next year or not :) Thus, I will leave it to GOD to show me the way.

I'm not denying that, but I'm not discounting the possibility of one day in the future, taking a more laid-back position, potentially working out in a more flexible hour working arrangement or going wholly independent as a consultant. I do agree that at this point in my life, I am very lucky to have two very supportive and willing parents & friends as they have encouraged me to pursue my career while you're still young.

Don't get me wrong. I'm really happy that I've been given this opportunity. It's the toughest job that I've ever had though, and sometimes I really feel like I'm sinking. I have been this person in my life at different times, as many of you all have…putting our eggs into the wrong basket, looking and focusing on the wrong things. I have been down the wrong road before and have valued the wrong things. And I have experienced life happening to me and have had it spin me around to the point where there was nothing left except for what was real. I feel that I just need to brave myself and take the first step into the unknown. I’m not saying that it is easy but it is definitely worth that step. No one will fault me for trying right :)

But I will always remember, that there's nothing too hard in life that I can't handle, because GOD has proven that he is very capable of pushing me to the brink and challenge me in life. And will always ensure that I will survive his entire test and emerge a stronger person. So anyway, what more can I say. Thank You GOD, yes; I feel you loud and near. Just don't let me fall yah! God always answers prayers, not always in the way I like it, but yes, GOD will always answer prayers. GOD will not answer your prayers if what you pray for is not good for yourself.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

you can live with love, you can live with hate

This is Liverpool new away kit :( We are called The Reds, The Kops…we embrace the color Red. This look more like a Everton or Chelsea jersey to me. Come on, this jersey is a joke. Everyone will be laughing at us. Totally embarassing. I think the Standard Chartered Bank (the main club sponsor) have a hand in this color selection since the bank logo is blue & green in color. It's clearly a corporate decision. I actually don’t mind the blue color…but I find the Red color that represents the club is not sufficient enough. The jersey will look way better if the Red can replace the blue strips.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Million Little Pieces

Chill Out, Subang Parade - Beer & Pizzas with Natalie, Sumen, Damian & Tin Min :) It has been so long since we gather together like this. The cold Heineken pint & the food are great, although not that excellent. I’m not a big drinker. I don’t crave for alcohol and I certainly don’t enjoy the hangover the next day. Not to mention, I have the Asian gene that turns me into a bright red lobster if I drink too much :) But with the hot weather hovering around, the cold beverage helps to cools down the blistering temperature. The setting is laid-back & open. The service is fantastic. It wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had. But the dining experience was wonderful. For me, it was the company that made the difference. With these friends; conversations, jokes and laughter flowed non-stop and I have heaps of fun. Sometimes I forget that I need a weekly dose of good company. I need to chatter in that senseless girl-way :)

Life in the city is busy.
Busy busy busy till sometimes we don’t know how and when to stop for ourselves. People always say “Stop and smell the flowers”. But do we really know what that means? Ever since 2 years back, I’ve learnt how to slow down at certain points in my day so that I don’t lose the plot and go work-crazy. I always remind myself to make a conscious CHOICE to do the things that will keep some sanity of mine in tact and remember what’s real in LIFE. I don’t want to be one of those people who have nothing to talk about but work. (How booooring right!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

perfect catch

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

I'm gonna kick my feet up then stare at the fan
Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants
Nobody's gon' tell me I can't

I'll be lounging on the couch just chilling in my Snuggie
Click to MTV so they can teach me how to dougie
'Cause in my castle I'm the freaking man

Oh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it 'cause I can

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything
Nothing at all, nothing at all

Tomorrow I'll wake up, do some P90X
Find a really nice girl, have some really nice sex
And she's gonna scream out
This is great
(Oh my god, this is great)

Yeah, I might mess around
And get my college degree
I bet my old man will be so proud of me
But sorry pops, you'll just have to wait

Oh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it 'cause I can

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

No, I ain't gonna comb my hair
'Cause I ain't going anywhere
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

I'll just strut in my birthday suit
And let everything hang loose
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh, today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

Nothing at all
Nothing at all
Nothing at all

-Bruno Mars: The Lazy Song-

My favorite chillaxing song for the month :)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Me Inc

Yesterday I celebrated my 29th birthday…I am now 29 years old…wow!

Suddenly life seems so long. I’m almost done with my 20s, but I’ve got my 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond to think about. When I get deep in thought about it, I panic terribly :) About what I’m going to do for my work, for my money, for my happiness, for my family, for my friends, for my personal goals...for myself. And then I snap out of it thinking, oh for God’s sake, stop it - I have so much right now. Thank you GOD, Praise to the LORD, Bless you GOD for putting me where I am today, for all of your rich & generous blessings that have been showering upon my family & me non-stop.

Reflecting the years of 2001-2011 put together has indeed been a decade of real change for me. The past 11 years have been like a path of self-discovery. I have transformed from an insecure teenager to an independent & confident adult. Moving from student life to the working world was both exciting and scary. A nine to five job, the responsibilities & the commitments were huge words to digest for a fun loving, happy-go-lucky girl. I was single, irresponsible, emotionally insecure, seeking out relationships to find my own happiness in life, a creative but na├»ve young woman, working in the crazy rat race of merchandise retailing. My mid-20s was somewhat like a quarter life crisis for me. I questioned the meaning of life. I feel like I haven’t found my calling in life yet…and I’m still searching for it. Hopefully, it’ll come or I’ll find it soon. It was not easy for me, because I have to let go of things that I’m bitter about too. But I have to do it because I don’t want my days ahead to be filled with anger, guilt and sorrow. I also do not denied that I have also missed out on the unlimited possibilities along the way. It kept me safe from harm no doubt about it but I also lost my vitality, the jole de vivre. Goals & ambitions are important to have, but I really cherish those precious moments. Sometimes…you just need to be. I survived it all :)

I must admit, I don’t feel this happy and appreciative every day. Most days I’m too busy or stressed out or feeling down or my mind is just whizzing around. But today, I felt a great clarity, a great calmness, and a deep contentment. And it makes everything seem magical.

I am who I am. I'm always going to have that little sort of - how do you say? Child streak :)
Life is short. Live it.